With the ongoing problems with parking around the station and an empty station car park the Parish Clerk has again written to Northern Rail asking that they review the decision to make charges. Below is the email, word for word, that has been received.
Thank you for your email below which I am replying to on behalf of Northern. When my colleague and I addressed the Parish Council in September we explained the rationale for the charges and our drivers for introducing them at a number of locations. Those points remain valid. The pictures you have provided do indicate little use but in reality we have an income stream from the car park and that in itself justifies the business case for charging over the life of the Franchise. Car parking on the areas outside of the station and beyond our lease area are a matter for the local authority as is congestion and should be raised directly with them.
From a Northern Rail Client and Stakeholder Manager dated 11/12/2018
3rd Floor, Aintree House, 1 York Place, Leeds LS1 2DR.
Below is the email from the Clerk to which the above is the response – (a few words have been omitted to protect the innocent).
Following a Parish Council meeting yesterday evening I find that I have to write to you again about the continuing problems caused by your decision to impose car parking charges at Hathersage station.
As previously explained the car park used to be full, now it is very often completely empty as shown by the photos that I still occasionally send to you. You claimed when you visited a Parish Council meeting earlier this year that based on your data from car park ticket sales that the car park was 55% utilised. This was not and is still not the case based upon visual evidence of the car park. Rail travellers (and there are many from and to Hathersage) do not wish to pay for car parking and are parking on the surrounding roads leaving the car park empty. At last night’s Parish Council meeting there were representatives … stating that if the parking congestion situation does not improve they will not be renewing their leases …. Hathersage has recently been quoted as a thriving Derbyshire community. It would be a great shame for this to decline ….
You stated when you visited our meeting that you would expect car park utilisation to increase back to previous levels 18 months after imposing charges. Based on the photographic evidence this is not happening and the car park remains unused causing parking and access problems for residents and businesses in the vicinity…. representatives last night said that the parking problems had become far worse since charges were imposed. I deliberately say imposed because as we have discussed previously there was no consultation with either the Parish Council or local rail user group although you believed otherwise.
I urge you to reconsider your decision to impose charging at Hathersage as the meagre income from car park ticket sales at Hathersage is not going to benefit the community as much as having a free car park facility will.